There is a big night ahead for Wales on Thursday night as they head out to Austria to try and take control of Group D in World Cup 2018 qualifying. They go into the match level on three points with Austria but the Welsh are top because of a superior goal difference after they thumped Moldova 4-0 in their qualification opener.
Austria took a 2-1 win on the road in Georgia to open their campaign. So now one of the two big showdowns are set for the two in the group and with Wales and Austria favoured to be booking the qualification spots, which one of them will gain an early advantage in pushing towards nailing the automatic spot from the group to reach Russia 2018?
Big night for Wales, because if they win in Austria, that’s a massive three points out on the road and that will keep them ticking high in confidence. Wales have posted five wins in their last seven games (L2) so they are in decent nick. Austria boss Marcel Koller has stoke the fires a bit by saying that Wales were lucky at Euro 2016 on their brilliant run to the semi finals. The last time that these two faced off, Wales won 2-1 in a friendly at the Liberty Stadium in 2013 and while they trail the head to head with Austria they look in good shape to make a splash in Vienna.
Austria were brilliant in Euro 2016 qualifying, winning nine of their ten games. But then it all fell apart for them with some below par performances at the tournament itself and they have lost three of their last five games played now, winning just the one. So they aren’t in great shape and the Welsh can get at them. Will the Austrians have the answer to shutting Gareth Bale out of the game, Koller saying that he will be marketed by two or three players in the game? Bale scored one and assists one in that 2-1 friendly back in 2013.
So Wales are in good form and they will be dangerous. The game plan will be much same; base everything off a gritty defence and then use the pace of Bale to create something special. Wales fared well against Belgium, their toughest opponent in Euro 2016 qualifying by taking four points off them. Can they get a huge three points on the board in this one against their toughest opponent in World Cup 2018 qualifying? The Dragons are underdogs for the game, but Coral are offering a 12/1 price boost on the Welsh taking the win.
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